Monthly Giving: It All Starts With One Tiny Snowflake
It all starts with one tiny snowflake, but it takes multiple snowflakes to make a storm.
This week’s blog was inspired by the recent blizzard/Nor’easter Kenan. If you’re in the northeast, I hope you stayed warm and safe through it all.
As I was watching the images of the snowflakes falling, it didn’t seem to amount to much at first. But then the snow started sticking and sticking some more. Then the snow started piling up and piling up some more. Next it became a few inches, up to a few feet in some areas.
Here’s the thing: One snowflake on its own is tiny. It takes more of these tiny flakes to make a major storm.
That’s similar to what happens with monthly gifts. At first, there are a few. Then a few more. Then a few more. Then when you add them all up and calculate their total value, they have become a major force to reckon with.
Let me give you one tiny example. As many organizations are in the middle of finalizing their tax letters to certain donors and monthly donors, one client shared how they just finished their tax overview listings. Their 425 sustainers showed a total giving in 2021 of $75,000! Not bad.
What will it take you to create a major monthly donor storm? They’re not going to just blow in when the weather gets cold. You need to do some things, even if they may feel or look tiny. A button. A tick box. A message in your e-news. Little things that don’t take much heavy lifting. But do them often and consistently, winter, spring, summer and fall.
Slowly but surely, they will start showing up. One monthly donor at a time, then another and another. Unlike snowflakes though, the good news is that there’s not a single snow blower that can blow these monthly donors away.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.